Paediatric Critical Care Society Statement on Climate Change
Climate Change is a global health emergency1. There is an urgent need to address the contribution of human industrial activities on Climate Change. The healthcare industry is a major contributor to Climate Change2: NHS emissions are equivalent to 4% of England’s total carbon footprint3.
In October 2020, the Greener NHS Plan was published4, stating the ambition for the NHS to be carbon-neutral by 2040, making the NHS the first carbon-neutral health service in the world.
PCCS recognises the role it has to play in action against Climate Change:
- Paediatric Critical Care is a significant contributor to the healthcare industry’s carbon footprint
- The health impacts of Climate Change disproportionately affect children’s health
As child health professionals, PCCS members have a duty both to mitigate the health impact of climate change and to advocate for the wellbeing of children.
We aim to support the NHS Greener Plan through the following actions:
- To create a PCCS subgroup responsible for the production and monitoring of a PCCS Green Plan: a mechanism to take a coordinated, strategic and action-orientated approach to sustainability.
- To support research into the prevention and mitigation of the impact of Climate Change on child health.
- To advocate for policies that reduce the impact of Climate Change on child health through liaison with relevant bodies such as HM government’s Sustainable Development Unit (SDU).
- To educate our members and patients / families about the science of Climate Change and how it impacts on child health.
- To reduce our carbon emissions as a professional society through actions such as facilitating meetings through virtual platforms and recognising exemplary practice.
- To support our members to reduce their own carbon emissions as well as those in their NHS organisations.
- To listen to our patients and their families about what matters most to them.
- To promote attendance at educational events that do not require air travel.
- To collaborate with other societies and professional organisations to support progress to achieving the Greener NHS aims.
- To ensure our financial investments are held in sustainable funds.
- World Health Organization. Quantitative Risk Assessment of the Effects of Climate Change on Selected Causes of Death, 2030s and 2050s. Geneva: World Health Organization. (2014)
- HS Sustainable Development Unit. NHS carbon footprint(2018) Available online at: https://www.sduhealth.org.uk/policy-strategy/reporting/nhscarbon-footprint.aspx
- Owen A, Giesekam J, Barrett J. 2019 Data release of material footprint and resource efficiency for the UK. 2019.
- NHS Greener Plan: https://www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs
A call for PCCS Green Champions
We would like to hear your views on how PCCS can support the response to the Climate Change crisis. We will be establishing a PCCS Subgroup to devise and deliver a PCCS Green Plan. This will require support from the PCCS members, and we envisage a community of Green Champions from every PCC in the UK. Please get in touch if you would like to contribute to this work, by emailing Adrian Plunkett: firstname.lastname@example.org